Charlie Sheen opens up about HIV diagnosis

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NEW YORK, NY – In an interview with Matt Lauer on TODAY, Charlie Sheen opened up about being HIV-positive.

"It's a hard three letters to absorb," he said.

Sheen told Lauer he was diagnosed four years ago after a series of migraines and hospitalization.

"I thought I had a brain tumor, I thought it was over."

He says he made the announcement after people he trusted with his secret tried to extort him for over a million dollars.

"They were deep in my inner circle and I thought that they could be helpful … my trust turned to their treason."

He says now he hopes to help destigmatize the virus.

"I have a responsibility now to better myself and to help a lot of other people."